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Perestroika
Apr 8, 2010



SirSamVimes posted:

Also the final gauntlet where Senua refuses to let her psychosis define who she is and suddenly becomes a death blender capable of one shotting basic enemies and fighting three bosses at once without breaking a sweat while beautiful music plays is one of my favourite video game experiences ever.

Which was made even better by the way how the usual cacophony of mocking and sneering voices had finally fallen quiet. Instead there was just one single voice left, encouraging and helpful.

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MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


SirSamVimes posted:

I like to imagine that all the stuff about going to Helheim actually literally happened. Senua is a warrior in a world of myth and magic, but also suffers from psychosis so you get this blend of genuinely fantastical things along with her mental illness making them even weirder.

Same. I look at it a lot like how Silent Hill is treated in Silent Hill 2 - a place of great supernatural power from which manifests real, physical reflections of the participant's own mind. What's real or not is wide open to interpretation since the entire experience is contingent on Senua.

I watched a bunch of developer diaries that Ninja Theory put up. It's cool seeing it gradually come together. The actress who played Senua was originally just the video editor at Ninja Theory. They used her as a placeholder for mo-cap but eventually offered her the role, and I think she did a great job. They had a really cool demo where she performed in a mo-cap rig for a live audience who watched her performance in-engine.

MeatwadIsGod fucked around with this message at 15:35 on Aug 29, 2017

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




The developer diaries are fun to watch. In earlier versions of the game the combat had directional guards like For Honor and Senua could send doubles of herself to attack enemies. Also when they hired Melina Juergens to play Senua for realsies she had six weeks to get into shape for the role and ended up liking it so much that she took up MMA as a hobby.

Over There
Jun 28, 2013


Any news on how well the game is doing?

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




It's sold over 160k copies on Steam and has been the top digital-only download on the PSN store for almost three weeks now, 3rd overall behind Sonic Mania and GTAV. Ninja Theory has said they only need to sell between 300k-400k copies for the game to be profitable, and given the breakdown between PS4/PC users, it's probably already surpassed that.

Mechanical Ape
Aug 7, 2007

But yes, occasionally I am known to smash.


SirSamVimes posted:

Also the final gauntlet where Senua refuses to let her psychosis define who she is and suddenly becomes a death blender capable of one shotting basic enemies and fighting three bosses at once without breaking a sweat while beautiful music plays is one of my favourite video game experiences ever.

There's a similar moment near the end of Heavenly Blade, though the games aren't very alike in other respects.

Necrothatcher
Mar 26, 2005






In Ninja Theory connections I did notice that Senua's headband kinda sorta looks a bit like Monkey from Enslaved's control tiara thing - but put it down to the character designer just having a thing for that look:

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


exquisite tea posted:

The developer diaries are fun to watch. In earlier versions of the game the combat had directional guards like For Honor and Senua could send doubles of herself to attack enemies. Also when they hired Melina Juergens to play Senua for realsies she had six weeks to get into shape for the role and ended up liking it so much that she took up MMA as a hobby.

Pretty interesting that she was a graphic designer on the project and was just acting a stand stand in before they decided they liked her enough to cast her. good performance too.

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

Yeah, she was really good. I was really surprised when I IMDBed her that she hasn't acted before. I figured she was a professional actress they hired because of the demanding role. She knocked it out of the park.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


I think in anything else it would have felt like over acting, but it worked for Hellblade. I remember seeing previews and thinking "Jesus, take it down a notch" but once I actually played it I wouldn't have changed it

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


veni veni veni posted:

I think in anything else it would have felt like over acting, but it worked for Hellblade. I remember seeing previews and thinking "Jesus, take it down a notch" but once I actually played it I wouldn't have changed it

I feel like Senua would have been closer to the Heavenly Sword protagonist - basically a flatter badass warrior woman - had they gone with someone else. The performance as-is makes her much more believable as a person rather than just a character, which makes all the badass stuff she does accomplish all the more impressive.

God of War 4 definitely has a high bar now. It'll be interesting to compare the two.

Over There
Jun 28, 2013


So where was the setting for all of this? From what I gather its an undisclosed European village, and vikings from the north came down to Europe to loot.

Necrothatcher
Mar 26, 2005






Over There posted:

So where was the setting for all of this? From what I gather its an undisclosed European village, and vikings from the north came down to Europe to loot.

Orkney, I think.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Well we know Senua herself is from Orkney, and the Vikings were living in Norway during the 8th and 9th centuries. If you take Druth's directions to Helheim as gospel, then Senua would have sailed east across the sea and north, putting Helheim somewhere along the western coast of Norway.

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


To anyone wanting to learn more about auditory hallucinations, I would highly recommend The Center Cannot Hold by Dr. Elyn Saks. It's a memoir from the author about her experiences with schizophrenia which began in her childhood. It's pretty harrowing stuff but also admirable since she worked through it, graduated from an Ivy League school and is now a psychology professor. I read it in college, and this game obviously brought it to mind a lot. Probably what struck me most is that people who are experts in the field on auditory hallucinations have suffered from them themselves. Even though they know the neurology behind hearing voices, they can still nevertheless be convinced that the voices they hear are from external sources.

I definitely want to brush up on Norse mythology and Celtic history thanks to this game, though.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


i wish they included a chapter select after finishing it. I'm not in the mood to play the whole thing again yet but I wouldn't mind replaying a few parts just to dwell on them a bit.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Somebody on reddit kind of lifehacked that anyway if you're interested in replaying certain sections, it's a whole folder with each save point in the game with notations for the most memorable segements.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8...0dHTXNEM2s/view

SirSamVimes
Jul 21, 2008







So I looked up the full transcript of that one poem that the Shadow tells.

In this waking nightmare where all dreams come true,
you searched for control. A way to pull through.
When you were in love you left him in tears.
To smother your furies and banish your fears.
But in darkness they came, through stormy black seas
they raided these shores. Do you still hear his screams?
And now that you're home he's so far away.
They've taken his soul. To these gods you cannot pray.

They can break you, but not your promise. Even death won't keep you apart.
Through this darkness you will find him. In your sword still beats a heart.
You fought for love unspoiled. By your darkness within.
You fought for your dreams, now there is no way to win.
In the head of his corpse lies the seat of his soul.
So you must carry his vessel and bring him back home.

They can break you, but not your promise. Even death won't keep you apart.
Through his darkness you will find thim. In your sword still beats a heart.


That scene made me Feel Feelings.

SirSamVimes fucked around with this message at 10:02 on Aug 31, 2017

McCloud
Oct 27, 2005





Sooo

I got the strong impression that while all the godly stuff going on was Senua hallucinating as a way for her to cope with the loss of Dillion, but that she still did go out and murder a poo poo ton of people. Like she actually tracked down the klan or village of the raiders and then murdered the gently caress out of them, and these are the shadows she fights. I'm not sure if there's anything to support that theory though.

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


SirSamVimes posted:

So I looked up the full transcript of that one poem that the Shadow tells.

That scene made me Feel Feelings.

That was the only part of the game that really made me roll my eyes. The Shadow's voice was goofy enough without it speaking in stilted verse.

Over There
Jun 28, 2013


McCloud posted:

Sooo

I got the strong impression that while all the godly stuff going on was Senua hallucinating as a way for her to cope with the loss of Dillion, but that she still did go out and murder a poo poo ton of people. Like she actually tracked down the klan or village of the raiders and then murdered the gently caress out of them, and these are the shadows she fights. I'm not sure if there's anything to support that theory though.

What I got out of it is that if it wasn't true that she went to Hellheim, she went to the village of the vikings that destroyed her village and took revenge.

Over There
Jun 28, 2013


So what was the reason for her father killing her mother? Just the same sort of burning at the stake that happened back then to anyone who seemed like they were different/trouble?

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




The interpretation I'm most comfortable with is that what "actually" happened is ultimately irrelevant, since everything Senua experienced was real to her, and the ambiguity is interesting in and of itself. Given the choice though I tend to favor a more mythological reading of events because a warrior woman yanking a godslaying sword out of a burning tree and battling to the gates of hell to save the soul of her dead lover is metal af.

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


Over There posted:

So what was the reason for her father killing her mother? Just the same sort of burning at the stake that happened back then to anyone who seemed like they were different/trouble?

I'm guessing Zinbel is a druid of the local tribe - at least he dresses like one - and thought that sacrificing her would be beneficial to the community since he would be purging her "darkness," but apparently if you collect all the runestones you get a secret conversation from Druth implying Zinbel could have been a quisling for the Norsemen so who knows what his real motives were.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




MeatwadIsGod posted:

I'm guessing Zinbel is a druid of the local tribe - at least he dresses like one - and thought that sacrificing her would be beneficial to the community since he would be purging her "darkness," but apparently if you collect all the runestones you get a secret conversation from Druth implying Zinbel could have been a quisling for the Norsemen so who knows what his real motives were.

Zynbel killed Galena at a much earlier point though, when Senua was only five years old. My take is that being a community leader he was probably embarrassed and felt his social status was threatened by Galena's psychotic episodes. He believed her to be cursed by the Gods, at a time back when being a woman with opinions was already enough of a case to be burned at the stake.

Over There
Jun 28, 2013


MeatwadIsGod posted:

I'm guessing Zinbel is a druid of the local tribe - at least he dresses like one - and thought that sacrificing her would be beneficial to the community since he would be purging her "darkness," but apparently if you collect all the runestones you get a secret conversation from Druth implying Zinbel could have been a quisling for the Norsemen so who knows what his real motives were.


exquisite tea posted:

Zynbel killed Galena at a much earlier point though, when Senua was only five years old. My take is that being a community leader he was probably embarrassed and felt his social status was threatened by Galena's psychotic episodes. He believed her to be cursed by the Gods, at a time back when being a woman with opinions was already enough of a case to be burned at the stake.

Oh wow I hadn't seen the secret conversation.

So not only did he kill her mother, he also sold out the entire tribe so he could have safe passage. Maybe that's what her next quest is, to kill her father.

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


exquisite tea posted:

Zynbel killed Galena at a much earlier point though, when Senua was only five years old. My take is that being a community leader he was probably embarrassed and felt his social status was threatened by Galena's psychotic episodes. He believed her to be cursed by the Gods, at a time back when being a woman with opinions was already enough of a case to be burned at the stake.

True, I'd forgotten about that. This is probably a better explanation.

exquisite tea posted:

Given the choice though I tend to favor a more mythological reading of events because a warrior woman yanking a godslaying sword out of a burning tree and battling to the gates of hell to save the soul of her dead lover is metal af.

That's why this interpretation is the one I've ultimately settled on. It's as hell along with being a poignant story about dealing with mental illness.

haveblue
Aug 15, 2005





Toilet Rascal

I like the Life of Pi rationalization someone invoked upthread- there's the boring explanation and the cool explanation, so with no other way to choose which one would you rather be true?

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town




I'm really glad that there's a twist involving Druth, but it isn't anything cliché like most devs would have done, ie "he was actually terrible to Senua" or "he wasn't a real person" or whatever. Druth > Dillion

Over There
Jun 28, 2013


precision posted:

I'm really glad that there's a twist involving Druth, but it isn't anything cliché like most devs would have done, ie "he was actually terrible to Senua" or "he wasn't a real person" or whatever. Druth > Dillion

Yeah same here. I assumed it was the latter the entire time.

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


While I really don't think a sequel to Hellblade would work, I'd be curious to know if there's enough cut content to warrant a director's cut version. It seemed like the developer diaries even well into the late Beta stage had a couple segments that weren't in the game, but Ninja Theory also seemed pretty intent on trimming or changing segments that didn't work for this or that reason so maybe it's best left as-is.

Kithyen
Oct 18, 2002
I DON'T KNOW THE BBCODE FOR BIG RED TITLES SO I CAN'T FIX THIS FUCK

exquisite tea posted:

Somebody on reddit kind of lifehacked that anyway if you're interested in replaying certain sections, it's a whole folder with each save point in the game with notations for the most memorable segements.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8...0dHTXNEM2s/view

Thank for this. I wanted to get some more good screenshots in certain areas, but didn't want to have to play through the entire game a fifth time

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




These are pretty neat. Somebody made mock-up movie posters using the game's photo mode.

https://twitter.com/duncanbirnie/st...625534353133568

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


exquisite tea posted:

The interpretation I'm most comfortable with is that what "actually" happened is ultimately irrelevant, since everything Senua experienced was real to her, and the ambiguity is interesting in and of itself. Given the choice though I tend to favor a more mythological reading of events because a warrior woman yanking a godslaying sword out of a burning tree and battling to the gates of hell to save the soul of her dead lover is metal af.

While I don't disagree with you, it's logical to speculate what really happened. It's a question that won't get answered, but it doesn't need to be shut down either.

Unreleated, and not like anyone here cares what he thinks anyways, but Yahtzee hated the poo poo out of this game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-kP6ixtjvo

Genocyber
Jun 4, 2012



Reminder: Zero Puncutation is not Yahtzee's actual opinions on Thing, he shits on pretty much every game he covers, even the ones he likes, because that's the gimmick. If he shits on something super hard he's probably just lukewarm on the game.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


These days he's pretty straight forward about games he likes even if he riffs on them as well. It's pretty clear he did not like Hellblade.

Octatonic
Sep 7, 2010



veni veni veni posted:

While I don't disagree with you, it's logical to speculate what really happened. It's a question that won't get answered, but it doesn't need to be shut down either.

You know, not to be that poster but imo if you're looking to find "way really happened" it kind of shows a lack of empathy and a lack of imagination? At the minimum, I think it's barking up the wrong tree.

We're in a mythological framing and a mythological time. Moreover, the story here is focused on the personal. It's about a woman's journey through Hel, yes, but it's just as much about coming to terms with her traumas. It's not even a third of the way into the game that you hear explicitly "there's nothing wrong with seeing the world the way you do, Senua," and the characters with the most positive influence on Senua's life were the ones who accepted what she saw as real, learned from her insights, and helped give her tools to cope with the horrors of life.

From a narrative perspective, Senua's journey starts far from other living humans, and ends far from other living humans. While you're not doing this explicitly, I think it's kind of an ugly reach to go "oh, a crazy lady killed a bunch of norse while hallucinating." Hellblade is a really empathetic look into mental illness. The slow awakening of the senses in the dark section as Senua invokes Dylian bringing her out of a dissociative episode is absolutely perfect, and I've been there both on the coaxing and receiving ends. If you're intent on asking what happened on earth over the course of the game, I think the answer isn't too dramatic. It's mundane, even. "A Celt warrior, daughter of a shaman, and last of her village, goes on a vision quest, and confronts the darkness of her past. She returns with a new perspective on life, and is ready live anew."

What happened in Hel is much more interesting. Senua can commune with the dead and see patterns others can't, and it has saved her in the past. She frees her lover's soul, but in exchange, abandons her gods, and forsakes her own afterlife. She discovers weapons that can fight the Northmen, and even harm their gods. Senua has defeated the darkness in her past, and gained the respect of the spirits who speak tp her. She returns eternally damned, but with the ability to live more peacefully and more coherently on earth until the time she's called into Hela's service at Ragnarok. By giving up her future and past, she's undergone a spiritual awakening.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


Why? It's fun to think about. It's something that I'm sure almost all of us thought about upon finishing the game. I know part of the creators intent was explicitly for us not to know, but it doesn't mean people aren't going to wonder, or that someone should be shut down for wanting to talk about it.

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

I think it's pretty boring if she didn't actually go on an epic journey into hel. One of the things I really like about Hellblade is that it functions as it's own myth. Senua becoming a mythological heroine is hela cool.

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Octatonic
Sep 7, 2010



I'm not shutting anything down, I just think it's not an interesting question, and moreover, there isn't anything to build from, along that line of thought, at least not really.

As to why I think it's not a useful question? The whole point of Hellblade is to emphasize with Senua, and to see the world through her eyes and ears. Over and over, she's told that she's cursed, and that her version of reality is wrong. It's only by embracing her world that Druth and Dylian help her cope, and develop her own sense of worth. This is not a game with an unreliable narrator who is here to trick the viewer, or set up as a puzzle for you to solve, like in other works about "schizophrenics". Senua's Sacrifice is just extraordinarily honest, and I think if the advertising for the game hadn't been framed in a way that brings your preconceptions about psychosis into play, you wouldn't be so intent on imposing "reality" onto it.


e: also this

Snak posted:

I think it's pretty boring if she didn't actually go on an epic journey into hel. One of the things I really like about Hellblade is that it functions as it's own myth. Senua becoming a mythological heroine is hela cool.

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